Data-Rich, Societally-Relevant Undergraduate Teaching Resources for Geoscience Classrooms and Field Courses Abstract

abstract

  • The NSF TUES-funded GEodesy Tools for Societal Issues (GETSI) project is developing modules for use in introductory and majors-level courses that emphasize a broad range of geodetic data and quantitative skills applied to societally important issues of climate change, natural hazards, and water resources (serc.carleton.edu/getsi). The modules fill gaps in existing undergraduate curricula, which seldom include geodetic methods. Published modules are "Ice mass and sea level changes", "Imaging active tectonics with lidar and InSAR", "Measuring water resources with GPS, gravity, and traditional methods", "Surface process hazards", and "GPS, strain, and earthquakes". All modules are about 2 weeks long and include student exercises, data analysis, and extensive supporting materials. Geoscience field courses are being targeted in another endeavor, the NSF IUSE-funded, GETSI Field Collection, to facilitate student learning of geodetic field methods. Over the last six years UNAVCO, Indiana University Geologic Field Station, and others have pioneered the teaching of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) in undergraduate field courses. Structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry has been added more recently. The "Analyzing high resolution topography with TLS and SfM" module can be used in both field camps and academic year courses with field components. Prepared data sets are available for courses that cannot collect TLS or SfM data themselves. The module "High precision positioning with static and kinematic GPS" will be published in 2017. All modules are designed and developed by teams of faculty and content experts and undergo rigorous review and classroom testing. Collaborating institutions are UNAVCO (NSF's geodetic facility), Indiana University, Mt San Antonio College, and Idaho State University. Science Education Resource Center (SERC) is providing assessment and evaluation. If future funding is successful, the topic range will be expanded (e.g., volcanic hazards and meteorological and ecological applications of geodesy).

publication date

  • 2016

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